My boyfriend Haydn organized a surprise birthday dinner in Melbourne for me this year. Walking through the quiet end of Gertrude Street in Fitzroy I had no idea where we would be eating and was pleasantly surprised stepping through the door of Cutler & Co.
Award winning designer Pascale Gomes-McNabb was in charge of designing her partner Andrew McConnel’s latest fine dining restaurant and she did an incredible job.
Timber tables and brick walls give a relaxed, urban feel while the leather seats, glass bar area and the unique art and rustic objects scattered throughout showcase the sophisticated design of the restaurant.
The lighting is dim with transparent hanging glass lights as well as other dream like lights floating above covered in black netting.
Immediately after we are seated the wait staff begin working their magic and with an aperol spritz in hand we decide on the degustation with matching wines.
Almost right away a number of beautiful share plates are arriving at our table, plates we didn’t recognise from the degustation menu. A delicate dish of radish and smoked mullet roe, duck croustillant with chestnut, house made sourdough with cultured butter, as well as two magnificent diver scallops with seaweed vinegar.
Just as we finish, the plates are swiftly taken and our first wine, a glass of Riesling is served with an exquisite plate of raw kingfish. The burst of seaweed and row with the kingfish is fresh and flavorsome and sets the bar high for the rest of the night.
The spanner crab and golden chicken broth was next with the most perfect polenta I have ever tasted. Cutler & Co. actually make its polenta in house from scratch.
The WA Marron was bursting with flavor – literally when Haydn pulled at the Marron meat, juice burst right into my hair!
By the time we reached the roasted pigeon and red wine the Cutler & Co crew had started slowing things down for us. The roasted pigeon was perfectly cooked and was served with quince, chicory and malted grains.
After our rump cap, salsify and English spinach we were able to choose a selection of cheese from a walking cheese platter – another lovely surprise!
We also discover Cutler & Co produce their own honey from a beehive on show above the bar.
For dessert we enjoyed earl grey ice cream, burnt honey, prune and chocolate – delicately plated and absolutely delicious.
Dining at Cutler & Co encapsulates everything I love about
good food and restaurants. It was a beautiful dining experience from the design, ambiance, and the culinary journey we were taken on. The staff were friendly, passionate and offered impeccable service. And Andrew McConnel’s food is simple yet eloquent -it leaves you wanting more. I definitely recommend Cutler & Co and look forward to dining there again one day.